Important oil on canvas representing the King of France and Navarre Henry IV.
The man nicknamed the "Galant Green" is in his fifties, painted half-bust, soberly dressed in a black cape, over his embossed velvet doublet.
The blue cord of the Order of the Holy Spirit bars its breastplate.
A sizable lace ruffle accentuates his face, while he sports a full back hair and a handsome, impeccably trimmed beard, with a mustache slightly tucked up at the ends, in keeping with the fashion of the time.
Oil on canvas, re-covering with handwritten inscription on the reverse
"F. Pourbus J."
Good condition, small used restorations.
Modern frame, in blackened wood and guilloche, Flemish style.
Workshop of Frans Pourbus dit le jeune *, Paris around 1600
Frame: Height: 118 cm; Width: 94 cm
Canvas: Height: 103 cm; Width: 78 cm
Our opinion :
The portrait that we present is characteristic of the productions of Frans Pourbus the Younger, who uses a dark background and clothes to draw the viewer's attention to the face of the king, which is treated with great finesse and bathed in a soft light.
This effect is enhanced by the immaculate whiteness of the lace strawberry, but also by the hair and beard which are lightly powdered.
It is obvious that this composition must have pleased Henri IV, who liked sobriety, in accordance with his Protestant upbringing.
Our portrait, large in size, is still imbued with the canons of Renaissance Mannerism, with a delicacy of the hands and a pose that recall the work of François Clouet, but it already foreshadows what will be the court portrait during the 17th century. century.
However, it is not a work of propaganda or an exercise aimed at imposing the authority of the king, but a painting which conveys the sincere image of a pacifying king, loved by all his people.
Few of the portraits made during his lifetime have come down to us, the majority having been destroyed during the revolution.
* Frans Pourbus (or Porbus) said the Younger, born in Antwerp around 1569-1570, died in Paris in 1622, is a Flemish painter, son of Frans Pourbus the Elder and grandson of Pieter Pourbus.
Frans Pourbus began by distinguishing himself as a portrait painter at the court of Brussels where he painted Archduke Albrecht VII of Austria and his wife Isabella Clara Eugenia. He was noticed by the Duke of Mantua, Vincent de Gonzague, who was passing through Brussels in September 1599, and who invited him to Mantua. From 1599 to 1609, he resided in Mantua, except for a few trips to make portraits of the gallant ladies of the time, which would adorn the Galeria di Bellezze, in the ducal palace. He rubbed shoulders with Pierre Paul Rubens, who was also the Duke's guest between 1601 and 1608.
He is called to Paris by the sister of the Duchess of Mantua, who is the Queen of France, Marie de Medici. He came for the first time for a brief stay on the occasion of the baptism of Louis XIII in 1606, then he settled permanently in Paris from September 1609. He had a daughter in 1614 with Elisabeth Francken, whom he had baptized at the parish church of Saint Elisabeth. In 1618, an annual pension was granted to him as the king's painter, and the same year, he was naturalized French. He was buried on February 19, 1622 in the Augustinian church in the Faubourg Saint-Germain, in Paris.